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If it is finally carried out, it would be a far-reaching and extremely controversial measure.
And they warn that annexation could shake a region whose stability is already fragile.
These are 6 questions to understand the situation in the West Bank, what are Israel’s plans about and why are they so controversial.
1. What is the West Bank and what parts does Israel plan to annex?
The West Bank is a territory on the west bank of the Jordan River that borders Israel in the north, west, and south, and Jordan in the east.
Between 2.1 and 3 million Palestinian Arabs live in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s annexation plans, the precise contours of which are being drawn by Israel and the United States, comprise nearly 30% of the West Bank.
Annexation is the term that is applied when a State unilaterally proclaims its sovereignty over another territory.
Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The most recent example is that of Russia, when the Crimean peninsula was annexed to Ukraine in 2014.
Netanyahu stated that his plan “is not an annexation,” although it involves applying Israeli sovereignty in the parts of the West Bank that contain Jewish settlements, and in the Jordan Valley.
Construction in the settlements would be easier if they are annexed by Israel.
The move could result in almost 4.5% of Palestinians in the West Bank living in enclaves within the annexed territory.
Netnayahu has indicated that Israeli sovereignty will not apply to Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley, and there are reports that such exclusion will extend to Palestinians in other annexed areas in the West Bank.
The Israeli prime minister could initially annex only the settlements, which account for 3% of the West Bank.
Any annexation of Israel, they argue, would fragment Palestinian areas and Palestinians with considerably less land for a country of their own.
Benjamin Netanyahu has long supported Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
3. Why does Israel want to carry out such a controversial plan?
Israel claims historical and religious rights in the West Bank as an ancestral land of the Jewish people.
It indicates that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace and that they should become part of Israel under any peace agreement with the Palestinians, whether they are annexed or not.
Netanyahu has long been advocating for settlements.
4. What would change with annexation?
There is no certainty that the annexation will take place.
In fact, the United States recently seemed to moderate its position.
Reversing it would require the support of the vast majority of Israeli parliamentarians, which is highly unlikely.
These are subject to Israeli military orders and Palestinian law, so there would be very few notable changes in this regard.
One of the most significant differences that annexation would make would be in regard to construction in the settlements, which has long been one of the most thorny issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
Currently, the construction and management of land in the West Bank requires the approval of the Israeli Defense Ministry and the prime minister, and can take months or years.
5. Why is annexation now being discussed?
Until recently, Netanyahu would have faced strong opposition from the international community over his annexation plans.
a radical change from the previous positions from the United States. “data-reactid =” 195 “> However, Donald Trump’s Palestinian-Israeli peace plan, revealed in January, allows Israel to” incorporate “the settlements, a radical change from the previous positions from the United States.
6. What has been the overall reaction to Israel’s plan?
Broadly speaking, both friends and enemies have warned Israel not to carry out annexation.
Palestinians are calling on the international community to exert pressure to avoid Netanyahu’s plan, and its leaders indicated that if Israel annexes territory in the West Bank they will declare their own independent state throughout the territory.
However, the United States is likely to block any attempt to pass a resolution in the UN Security Council condemning Israel.
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